Talk:Bush's judicial nominees

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The following section, if appropriate, should identify a)to which office the nominee was nominated; b)whether or not the nomination was approved; c)other useful information relevant to the [title of the] article.

Other Nominees: Radical Views

  • Press Release: "Twenty-four Groups Launch Unprecedented, Simultaneous TV and Online Ads Exposing Radical Views of Administration Judicial Nominees," July 22, 2004:
"Keeping dangerous ideologues from getting powerful lifetime seats on the federal courts is not obstructionism, it is a constitutional obligation for U.S. Senators," said Ralph Neas, executive director, People For the American Way. "We're saying to the American people, there's more at stake here than the President's soundbites would lead you to believe. Judges who would be bad for the country and the Constitution deserve to be blocked."
  • Claude Allen criticized an elected official because of his "ties with queers." --New York Times, October 19, 1984.
  • Jay Bybee advised that the President could ignore laws forbidding torture. --The Washington Post, June 22, 2004.
  • J. Leon Holmes argued a wife should "subordinate herself to her husband." --"Gender Neutral Language: Destroying an Essential Element of our Faith," Arkansas Catholic, 1997.
  • Carolyn Kuhl ruled that a woman's right to privacy was not violated by the doctor who invited a drug salesman to sit in on her breast exam. --Azucena Sanchez-Scott v. Alza Pharmaceuticals, 1999.
  • William Myers compared the government's role in protecting public lands to King George's "tyrannical" rule over the American colonies at the Western Ranchers Fed Up with Feds Forum, 1996.
When Miguel Estrada withdrew his nomination for a federal judgeship last week, his backers blamed anti-Hispanic bias. Republicans are regularly tossing around such charges over judicial nomination setbacks, calling them anti-Hispanic, anti-Catholic, anti-woman. But these battles have been over ideology, and the scope of the Senate's questioning of nominees. The name-calling is puerile and divisive. The administration and its supporters should argue for their nominees on the merits.
The House majority leader, Tom DeLay, called the effort to defeat Mr. Estrada a "political hate crime." Yet some of the stiffest opposition to Mr. Estrada, who was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, came from Hispanic leaders, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. And while many Democratic senators opposed Mr. Estrada, they have voted to confirm 12 of President Bush's other Hispanic judicial nominees.
The Republicans' record is worse. In the William Jefferson Clinton era, they denied confirmation votes to six Hispanic judicial nominees, and delayed others for years. Jorge Rangel, who went 15 months without a hearing on his federal appeals court nomination, wrote to Senate Democrats last week to ask where Republican senators' "cry for diversity on the bench" was when he was forced to withdraw in 1998.
Hispanic leaders did not oppose Mr. Estrada because he is Hispanic. Catholic senators like Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy do not oppose William Pryor, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, because he is Catholic. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer do not oppose Priscilla Owen, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, because she is a woman. Mr. Estrada would not answer senators' questions. Mr. Pryor and Ms. Owens have met resistance for their archconservative views.
Diversity is not the only issue on which Republicans are not talking straight. During the Clinton administration, prominent Republicans argued that there were too many judges on the District of Columbia Circuit, and opposed Clinton nominees on the grounds that confirming them would be a waste of tax dollars. But now that a Republican president is nominating people like Mr. Estrada to the court, these objections to its size have withered.
Charging discrimination may score political points, but the confirmation of federal judges is too important to be treated so cynically. Republican and Democratic senators know what they are fighting over: legitimate disagreements over how to interpret the Constitution and define the role of a federal judge. They owe it to the American people to be honest about their differences.